I choose to be homeless. I am what is often referred today as a digital nomad. I travel full time although I do have a few “home bases” with family and friends where I’ll stay for a week or two in between my travels to new places.
Most people who meet me for the first time are surprised to find out I don’t have a home. Just like not having a cell phone and not having a car, this has been a conscience decision I made taking into account what is best for my personal situation. While I could certainly afford to purchase a home if I wanted one, the truth is that for my current lifestyle, goals and finances, owning a home makes little sense.
The choice really wasn’t a difficult one to make. I work on the Internet so as long as I have an Internet connection, I am able to work where ever I may be. There is no need for me to be in one city where I need to go into an office to work each day. Given the choice, I would much rather be in a new place where I can explore rather than in the same room day after day. The only question was whether I could travel full time for about the same amount of money that I could own a home so that I could make sure that I spent less than I earned.
Most people assume that traveling full time would be much more expensive than owning a house. If I simply looked at the cost of the mortgage payment compared to the cost of traveling full time, then the statement would be correct. However, I know that this comparison is incorrect because I have owned a house in the past, and I know that the cost of a house is much more than just the mortgage payment.
When I add in the cost of furnishing the house (no need for furniture, TVs, beds, refrigerators, dishwashers, etc), utilities (water, gas, electric, garbage, cable), homeowner’s insurance, home maintenance, property taxes and landscaping & yard work to a mortgage payment, it becomes quite easy to spend less traveling than owning a home. This is especially true when I choose to stay are relatively inexpensive hotels. In addition, I do quite a bit of house sitting which allows me to stay in different areas for free. While traveling does entail its own set of expenses, these still end up costing far less than if I actually owned a home.
I’m not trying to imply that going homeless is right for everyone. I know that for many people, it most definitely is not. It does show that when looking at your own situation, what is promoted by financial experts as a good financial move may not always be your best choice.